September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. The 3 most common types of blood cancer are Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma. Despite it being the second most diagnosed blood cancer, Myeloma is still relatively unknown. Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells found in the bone marrow. At this time, there is no cure for Myeloma. We knew nothing about this cancer until 2 years ago when I was first diagnosed with it. At the time, my case was smouldering, or inactive. However, the doctor warned us that it would one day become active and we spent the next 2 years holding our breath while I went for blood tests every 3 months. Inevitably this past July, we were told the news we never wanted to hear - my cancer had become active and treatment needed to be started right away. Thus began our lifelong battle with this monster of a disease. Right off the bat, I experienced lesions in my bones throughout my body, a tumour on my spine, holes in the base of my spine, and a fracture on my vertebrae, which was causing my spine to compress down onto the tumour. They started me on radiation therapy first to shrink the tumour, and followed that up with 2 different surgeries on my back to strengthen and lift my spine. The week after that I started my chemotherapy treatment, which is weekly chemo for 16 weeks. We’re halfway through Cycle 2 and thankfully I am responding very well so far. Once I have completed these 4 months, I will then have to endure an even more difficult process of a tandem stem cell transplant. All in all, I expect to be in remission after a year of fighting this. I will then be put on maintenance chemotherapy from that point on and will be fighting this cancer for the rest of my life. That is why after many years of participating in a team Walk to benefit all blood cancers, this year we have decided to focus on Myeloma by participating in the Myeloma March on Sunday, September 23rd. There are life changing treatments currently in trials, and the medical community is optimistic that one day it could be a cure for Myeloma. We need to raise funds and awareness to help myself and other Myeloma patients access better treatments and give us a chance at a normal life. Myeloma is often the less thought about blood cancer, and it's time to Make Myeloma Matter. My Life Matters. And thousands of other patients and their families are hoping and praying that they matter too. Please consider helping us by donating to myself or our Team by clicking below.
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